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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Mar;49(3):1517-23.

Carotenoid composition in the fruits of red paprika (Capsicum annuum var. lycopersiciforme rubrum) during ripening; biosynthesis of carotenoids in red paprika.

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Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Pécs, Medical School, H-7624 Pécs, Szigeti út 12, Hungary.


The changes in the carotenoid pigments of the Capsicum annuum var. lycopersiciforme rubrum during maturation have been investigated quantitatively by means of a HPLC technique. In all of the chromatograms, 40 peaks were detected; 34 carotenoids were identified. The total carotenoid content of the ripe fruits was about 1.3 g/100 g of dry weight, of which capsanthin constituted 37%, zeaxanthin was 8%, cucurbitaxanthin A was 7%, capsorubin constituted 3.2%, and beta-carotene accounted for 9%. The remainder was composed of capsanthin 5,6-epoxide, capsanthin 3,6-epoxide, 5,6-diepikarpoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, and several cis isomers and furanoid oxides. The possible biosynthetic routes for the formation of minor carotenoids containing 3,5,6-trihydroxy-beta-, 3,6-epoxy-beta-, and 6-hydroxy-gamma-end groups are described.

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